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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Howay The Lads!!

Newcastle Have To Think Big – Very Big

2:52 pm, Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 49 Comments

We have a feeling that Newcastle will make a huge effort in the summer to further improve our squad, with Newcastle embarrassingly fighting against relegation this season, which is hardly what we expected last summer, after we had finished 5th top and looked a very good side.

mike ashley 987

Mike Ashley – he thinks big for Sports Direct

But the lack of new players in the summer has turned out to be a huge mistake, although we did bring in five very good Frenchmen in January, and that’s the basis on which Newcastle will build this summer.

Any great business, and Newcastle is a business now – whether you like it or not – has to have a vision – what is it that Newcastle are trying to become?

The best club in the north-east or the best club in England or what?

What we would say is that we should have an aim to become the best football club in the world – nothing less – aim for the moon – and then with that in place, the powers that be can start to do those things that will make Newcastle exactly that.

But you have to know what you want to become, before you can become it.

We were big fans of the great Bill Shankly, who was the manager who built Liverpool in the 1960s into a juggernaut – and he talked about having to reach very high to meet you goals – this is one of the many quotes Bill is famous for:

“Aim for the sky and you’ll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you’ll stay on the floor.”

And to use Bill Shankly’s quote – if you aim to be the best club int he world – we may even end up winning the Premier League for the first time ever.

On a personal level, I started to run the Network Consulting Group in early 1998 and we talked about what we wanted to be (when we grew up) – and that was to be the biggest Network Consulting Group in the world – in terms of revenue.

And what did we have to do to achieve that – well about six months after going into an agreement with Cisco – the biggest network products manufacturer in the world at the time – in late August, 1999 – we became the biggest Network Consulting Group in the world – and much quicker than we thought was possible.

And the same can happen to Newcastle,

Alan Shearer has talked about needing to spend £25M each summer just to stay still – but we don’t think that’s the right measurement – the right measurement is to get two or three top players in each summer.

And Newcastle are proving a club who can do that without spending ridiculous amounts of money. – as if the more you spend the better it is – more is not always better – just ask QPR owner Tony Fernandes about that.

So we do think we’ll survive this season in the Premier League, we hope we’ll survive this season in the Premier League – and if we do that – we’d love Newcastle to think big in the summer.

To think very big.

To go for it.

Howay The Lads!!

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Tags: Europa League · European Competition · Newcastle News · Premier League


49 responses so far ↓

  • 1 catchy in norway // Apr 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    thing big

  • 2 Beattie25 // Apr 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    There is no chance of there being major changes. No chance in hell!

    We need a new management set up before splashing any cash if we want to aim for the stars.

    The simple and sad truth is that we’ll sign a few free transfers, maybe 1 or 2 youngsters and perhaps a £5 million player.

    We will keep Pardew, struggle along until Christmas with me chirping away with I told you so and then hire a nobody like Alec Mccleish.

  • 3 cockneymagpie90 // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    I think doks just dissagreeing because he has no friends and just wants a chat whether it being a debate or an argument, he just wants talking to.

    Sorry dok i didnt realise, yes ur right pardew is the right man for the job and with an extra 5 new internationsls on top of the ones we already have i can see a midtable finish next season…

    Exciting times ahead aye?

  • 4 JackButler // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Why would Ashley sanction more money being spent when he can see what a ball’s up Pardew has made with the players that joined us in January.

    Yes we need more depth and strength but the philosophy has to change and Pardew is far to self confident and arrogant to change and so it’s him that needs to be changed. A better manager would get so much more out of our current squad

  • 5 Transfer Sage // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:01 PM


    from previous

    I know what your saying, but under moyes first 2 years the football was no better than before him came, or if anything fractionally.

    I don’t think pards is the right man but i haven’t written him 100% off yet, don’t think he will change but i woudln’t go as far as saying he can’t.

  • 6 Teamstoof // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    OF Topic.

    That PRICK Demba Ba

    “When they said, ‘You are going to Chelsea’ I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s like the start of my career’” Ba says.

  • 7 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Cheers for that
    The great Bobby Moore captain of England also failed as a manager at Oxford and Southend
    Laurie McMenemy never played football to a high level but won the cup managing Southampton
    Ain’t no hard and fast rule – a good footballer doesn’t always make a good manager

  • 8 Transfer Sage // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM


    From what i have heard the business will be similar to jan, we will get 4/5 first team players in along with a few for the development squad.

    Not sure who yet but will keep asking and digging though.

  • 9 DannyH10 // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    In terms of squad improvements, I do agree that we could do with one or two top players.

    However the area that needs the most work is squad depth. This has been shown up embarrassingly this season. Ideally we want at least 2 decent players for each position. Buy young, buy cheap, buy abroad. Do whatever but we need more squad depth!

  • 10 BigKirky // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Hopefully we can get these players in, but will the defensive philosophy change? It hasn’t in 2 years, so why now?

    If anyone has played 11 aside matches for a team before, you know if you’re an attacking player and are forced to defend for a lot of the match, it doesn’t half drain you, chasing about when you want to be on the ball passing and creating, plus it can affect confidence.

    Ball retention and chance creation is made from practicing just that in training. Your defensive set up is in built to that system. Match days would say otherwise for us as it looks like two banks of 4 close to our 18 yard box and Cisse on his own miles away.

  • 11 Tsunki // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Thing Big Things and Big Things will start everybody Thinging ‘we can do these Big Things we are Thinging’.

    Thats what I thing anyway.

    Thinking bigger than this season will qualify as aiming for the ceiling, in a bungalow of course. That why we are in the basement I suppose.

  • 12 Beattie25 // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:06 PM


    Last criticism I swear but I truly can’t understand your belief that Pardew has this master plan to change the style of football we play.

    For one he has no track record as a manager (or player for that matter) of playing attractive football so waiting him to implement a style he has no experience of is like waiting for a subway sandwich maker to suddenly start making gourmet dishes.

    Secondly Rodgers was able to implement immediately due to his experience as a coach and then manager and has a history of coaching and implementing attractive football. That’s what we need. A man who has proven he can do it or has been a part of it, not one that can say he can do it.

    You waiting for that is like me waiting for Ashley to invest his money. We both hope it but realistically there’s no chance.

  • 13 DokToon // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    beattie, then you would fire pards right now, and not wait til the end of the season?

  • 14 Tsunki // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Did someone mention ball Retention ha ha – when was the last time you saw any of our team play in neat triangles of quick passing football? I think the answer would be in one of the early Euro games. It hasn’t been in evidence has it?

    Our midfield is crammed with soloists with little awareness of each other. Thats why we have a stranded defence and a lost attack. BooYah!.

  • 15 Beattie25 // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:08 PM


    I hope so but the press, insiders and fans have been told that before. I’m not questioning your sources but Ashley is a very unpredictable man and we will hear ‘we tried’ if that’s what he wants.

  • 16 Tsunki // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Here’s a question then – we lose 4-0 against Liverpool. Ashley fires Pards. would you now be panicking? Would you see the team as rudderless?

  • 17 JackButler // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:10 PM


    No one is advocating sacking Pardew now, as it would be suicide just as it was when Shearer was brought in.
    But come the summer he needs to go

  • 18 Tsunki // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    cockneymagpie90 @3 – you can be soooooo mean.

  • 19 cockneymagpie90 // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    I would be over the moon!

  • 20 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    I start of his career bench warming

  • 21 Generic Commenter // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Yeah get rid of Pardew! It worked in 2009….

  • 22 Beattie25 // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM


    I would 100% wait until the end of the season. I have a feeling we will sneak a draw or 2 against west ham and QPR and should be safe, but it is cutting it fine.

    What I would do is at 6pm after the last game of the season I’d fire Pardew and then have a review. For me whatever conclusion is reached after the review Pardews position is untenable. However knowing Ashley he will keep Pardew on and believe he can take us to the next level,

  • 23 DokToon // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    beattie, fair enough… thank you for your time, will shut the eff up now…

  • 24 Transfer Sage // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    My friend was right about january signings but wrong about last summer, was told a few times people wiuld be brought in but never happened.

    Its very hit and miss as ashley himself never knows exactly until the contract is signed (ala Remy).

    I am expecting a few signings to come in, will keep my ear to the ground for pardew, going out for a beer to watch the champs league tonight so will do some digging then, see if he has heard anything.

  • 25 snowdone // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Hi Ed!
    The team lack confidence, that’s obvious. Another striker is obviously required. Sissoko should play deeper, that’s obvious. Of course, Cabaye should aim for greater consistency. However, Pardew should depart? That’s far from obvious from where I’m sitting. Everyone has their opinion and is entitled to it. This is a vote for Pardew after a poor and trying season. Last year an overachiever, this year a disappointment. Now learn and come back again next year.

  • 26 cockneymagpie90 // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM


    Hehe! I can be if i want to be!

    I aint got to agree to dissagree with that BS!

    Il just dissagree thanks.

  • 27 Tsunki // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    I am climbing over ibiza’s fence from the sunny side to the gloomy one. Not quite ‘over the line yet’ but almost. Pardew almost out!

  • 28 WWYCD // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Ashley brought Pardew in and was that impressed with him in his first full season with us he gave him a 8 year deal, he believed in him enough to hang him out to dry last summer then try and bail him out in Jan (still too little too late to save the season but to keep us up should be more than enough)

    There will be a review in the summer no doubt and Pardew will speak his case Ashley will tell him it was not good enough and as long as Pardew doesn’t blow his top with him he will remain in charge imo

    Bigger questions for me are how far will Ashley back NUFC in the summer? (I expect shoe string again) And what exactly are the ambitions of the club now? (Midtable with minimal backing)

  • 29 Tsunki // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    In reality, Pardew will probably get a few signings, maybe a look at his training setup, and then Ashley will watch his preseason like a hawk. I think he knows enough about results now to bag Pards if he starts the season off with a run of losses, and I think that is the most likely scenario IF Pards survives Ashley’s secret scouting for a top manager in the summer break.

  • 30 catchy in norway // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM


    i think thats where me and you will dissagree about last season,
    for me las season was a long slog, and i carnt pick out many games where we were were good never mind great, stoke as you say sticks out, and one of the only decent crosses from obertan in that game to :)
    great result v man u 3-0, but it was a long ball game where shola showed strength, ba was ba, great,

    but i seem to remember many many games where Ba saved us, much like he did this season,

    we had a “purple patch” when cisse came, but on the whole, IMO games where poor, just dogged defending

    we had the lowest amout of goals scored from crosses last season, and yet IMO we had the 4 best goals of the season 2 in 1 game

    im a bit sick of what i think is ppl mixing lack of support from the board and pardews lack of tactics, ther 2 different things and are really not related IMO, as since pardew has been at the club, it dosnt matter which 11 he puts out, its the same shit we watch, i do think it was wrong not to buy in more players, but i think pardew has proven since jan, hehas had a better defence almost every game, good mf and cisse up top. better players alost the same amount of points

    now i think it dosnt take a brave man to sort things out, rodgers is only doing his job, what he is paid for, train a squad and pick a team to win games, and in many ways i think it is harder than what pardew has had to do, liverpool are not a very good team and need a total rebuild, yet he has blended them quite well, ( not great)

    i also get the impression that he is waiting for to have an amazing team, everyone fully fit, but like you say , it will never happen, he should be happy with what he has right now, its the best squad he has ever had,

    if we are talking about learning curves , why does he insist on playing players out of position? he never learns from that mistake, defending deep, he never learns from that too :(

    i will not point to his CV, what i will say is over this full season, he has fell at nearly every hurdle, a guy of his age, not new to the game, SHOULD no what football he likes his teams to play, and OC still be learning, i carnt see any everdence that of this,

    also the fact that he treats us fans as pure idiots with his after match comments,
    we were great today ? when
    we never got our passing game going,? do we have one, back in NOV he was complainig about his team being tired


  • 31 Beattie25 // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    God these muppets have ruined our club. Isn’t it sad?

  • 32 fatash // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    To soon to talk about next season, lets get this one over and hopefully survive.
    Please no more long ball defensive games, I would rather go down all guns blazing than go down with a whimper, we have lost so many points by trying to play defensive football and we are obviously not very good at this, look at our goals against record.
    I hope they have spent all week practicing corners and Taylor has practised with his hands strapped to his sides. I hope Tiote has learnt to pass the ball forward constructively and not try to hold it around our penalty area but in a midfield/forward position. I hope that Jonas is allowed to play on the right wing, that Gouffran is going to be played just behind or beside Cisse that Sissoko and Cabaya are allowed to roam in forward positions. I hope that Benny plays more than 20 mins it takes him that long to warm up, I hope Pardew misses the next match and someone else takes charge.
    I wonder when Pardews book 10,002 excuses for football managers will come out, and can I have an advanced copy.
    I course know nothing, I love my club but I am delusional
    How embarrased will we be if we have to rely on Sunderland to keep us up.

  • 33 Tsunki // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    And he not scoring from corners thing is actually more weird than worrying. Its like there is a bet on with someone somewhere. Pro footballers should by law of averages bundle more crosses in by accident and fluke in that time. We seem to be able to tirelessly defend the oppositions goal for them.

  • 34 colwell // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:31 PM


    To be fair too Demba as far as winning trophies goes his career has now started. He was never going too win one here was he. Now he’ll challenge for cups and play in the Champs league.

    I’d still take Ba back in a heartbeat all the sitters Cisse has missed Ba would have put away and we would be better off.

  • 35 jayphoto // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    50/50 on whether we should keep Pardew or not! I think if MA keeps with him we really need to buy the players to fit the system! We’d need to bring in a proper Behind the striker player as sissoko is no n.10! My tip would be De Jong from ajax! Think also we need a proper out an out left winger and right winger! HBA is injured too much, jonas contributes nothing , gouffran is a striker and marveaux prefers central positions! My preferred choices would be Belhanda and Boudebouz! We’ll need a decent centre half in as no doubt collo is off! And a different option to cisse upfront to give us a different tactical approach! I think if we took de jong, belhanda, boudebouz, jordan rhodes and douglas we’d look in great shape! All of these players are moving on in the summer aswell

  • 36 toonarmydownsouth // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I also think Ba would be more involved if a certain owner wasn’t as insistent in playing a £50 mil wash out!
    Genuinely think loosing ba was the worst thing to happen to us this season!

  • 37 wolfshead@toon // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    is pards the new shanks? lol

  • 38 toonarmydownsouth // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    141Transfer Sage // Apr 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM


    Seeing as we were underprepared this summer do you

    1. think we will strengthen properly in the summer

    2. and if you could have say 4 players/positions what would it be (first team not kids)

    1) god I hope so!

    2) LW, desperately need a genuine winger, jonas isn’t a winger, Marv isn’t a winger, goofy isn’t a winger and ferguson isn’t prem standard imo

    CAM, a belhanda or de Jong I’d be beyond ecstatic, cabs obviously based on this season needs resting more and I’m not sure Marv has the legs to do a full campaign

    RW, I know we have benny, but when do we really have benny if you see what I mean?

    CB, a top cb, I’m going on the assumption that colo is offski and for me tayls is too inconsistent and far too injury prone to be relied upon going in to a new campaign

  • 39 cockneymagpie90 // Apr 23, 2013 at 3:57 PM


    Simmo, taylor, perch, tiote, sissoko, guti, goofy.

    Should i have to dream of this???

  • 40 tunearmy // Apr 23, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Heap big thing!

    ha ha yuv been celebrating like a true geordie .. hic

    Well done By the way mate!

  • 41 toon kk // Apr 23, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Imo Cashly cant see a problem with Pardew, he fits nicely in with the running of the club. As for signings can’t see many coming through the door either.

  • 42 BennygivesmeTinglyBalls // Apr 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Guys guys guys, Settle. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the injuries we have. I’m not one for excuses but they have wrecked our season. We haven’t had a consistent team to field for the entire season. I think the key to last season was the consistent team selection and other than we punched above our weight. I’m not on board with the ditch Pardew, although I would like someone like Pochettino, he looks a top manager. Southampton look a great team for the players they have. But for now Pardew will do. We all know Sissoko needs to be pushed back along with Cabaye, I think that would be a great pairing. Then we need an attacking midfielder in the mould of De Jong. We also need a stiker obviously. Cisse is so close to being a great stiker, just some of his misses, decisions, being offside. He just doesnt have a footballing brain, but bags of talent. If Ben Arfa stays fit, then we need a left winger. I like Goofy but he isn’t a winger and its unfair on him to have to play there all the time. Its like the Cisse as a RW all over again. Then we would have Anita, Perch and Marveaux as back up. Tiote can go, he doesn’t add anything to the team. The tackle against Stoke summed him up really. At the back we need a CB as Taylor although I love his passion, isn’t as solid as we need. I have a feeling we will be raiding the french market again this summer and I really believe we will splash the cash on 3 great players. I want some strong characters with passion, preferably one english. But then again they are all over-priced. I’m looking forward to next season, gonna put a wod on us being top 7!

  • 43 chuck // Apr 23, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    I agree for once, before both Shankley and Ferguson, both Liverpool & MU were nothing special.
    You have to want success.
    Of course Pardew is not either of the above plus having a bingo caller as GM, will get you nowhere fast.
    You expect someone who was decribed by KK as a man who knows less than nothing about football, to expand the brand name on a world wide basis ?
    Yes I mean Llambias.
    As for Pardew, he’s won nothing, been fired from just about every job he’s had.
    We have only to watch each week to realize how bad a manager he is, if football was bullshit we would be top of the league.
    So! until Ashley comes to the realization, that yes men have their limits and hire two professionals, with track records, we can only dream about silverware.

  • 44 davis_toons // Apr 23, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    @ 6, “I was in Newcastle, very tolerant people as well.” – BA

    The stories about him travelling around English clubs in his early 20s, playing in trial games, staying in cheap hotels and being rejected by all and sundry are well-known. It sounds like a plot for a film and Ba jokes that he should write a book about it one day.

    “People say, I must have been tough when I was told all the time, ‘We aren’t taking you’. But I never came back home saying ‘Oh God, I have missed something’. Maybe it was the belief. I remember one day I looked at the Premier League table. Then I saw all Championship and League One and League Two.
    How many clubs are here? Maybe 100! There is maybe one that’s going to sign me!
    But, no, not in the beginning, that is why I went to Belgium.”

  • 45 davis_toons // Apr 23, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    On Ba,

    Be glad that we have not sign a Striker like “some others” and have to incur so much losses. What??!! 1 goal for how much?

    We manage to get 5th and got Profits out of him. Isn’t that more important? We are never a club at this current regime to be at the top end or the roof.

    Naturally, for Ambitious Player to use us as a “stepping stone”.

    I really don’t mind recruiting 10 of such players in different departments eg, CD, CM, AM & CF

    There is so much pro in terms of cons.
    (and who says that we can Never keep them here?)

    Yes these players will leave for better clubs, that is nature but when we improve as a team and as players qualities gets better.

    League standard improve consistency, (just look at Spurs) will they stay? Yes, they will look forward to next season and think who is the next best player to come into this club and looking forward to challenges.

    At this time the Club got to have more Ambitious to push us up, right there with the best.

  • 46 bettyswallocks // Apr 23, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    I think the key word in the Pardew debate now is respect.

    Once lost it is very difficult to re – establish in football management.
    I for one kept an open mind when Pardew was appointed and have made allowances and tried to support him and the team through good and bad times.

    However after more than 2 yrs. of listening to him and watching the same rubbish negative football my respect has now been completely eroded.

    The list of his cautious negative attributes has been debated over and over but the sad thing for me is that God willing if we are in the PL next season the the excitement of any new players coming in will be marred by the thought of him coaching them.

    Thank God he is not the one that picks the players!

    Can you imagine.

    Even now you can feel that he is not really comfortable with players like Marveaux Benny and Anita.

    How long did he spend trying to brainwash HBA to be more defensive minded before he gave him a game. T hen he only stumbled across a way to integrate him into the team.
    Same with Marveaux . He hasn t given him a proper extended run in the team and he s one of our best players.

    He has had long enough to impress us and hes failed miserably.
    He has lost my respect along with many others and as this momentum grows hopefully there will be a change made at the end of the season.

  • 47 lesh // Apr 23, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Sage, your intelligence is normally on the button and if we heart replicate this winter’s buys we could take the perm by storm – provided we don’t coach their skills out of them!

  • 48 stuart no9 // Apr 23, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    hate to keep going over the same old issues time and time again, but it really dosnt matter how much money we have to spend in summer, money is not the issue here.
    After nearly 3 years in charge , most of us have come to the conclusion that pardew would not know what to do with 25 or 30M. what we need is a manager who can identify a players qualities , play him in his best position , to get the best out of that player, we have all seen pardews efforts and they are nothing short of tragic.
    We , well most of us know that untill HE is gone forget about football- it wont happen, even if the board give him 100M – IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.

  • 49 irishtoon999 // Apr 23, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Don’t be fooled, Ashley is ruthless and made a cool 500mil last year.. So my point is he will push out pardew if he thinks he can’t or is not the man to take us forward.. There is no loyalties in business at that level, simply to much cash involved.. Ashley loves money and this is good for us as a successful Newcastle will make him more dosh, and if the team pushes on further into the champs league relm then more and more cash for big mike..

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